Keeping in touch in Abu Dhabi is quite easy, although relatively expensive compared to what some expats may be used to. Internet, telephone, mobile phone, and postal services are available and standards are quite good.

Telecommunications companies in Abu Dhabi

Two companies hold a monopoly over both telephone and internet services in the UAE, namely Etisalat (the national telecommunications company) and its primary rival on the market, Du.

Etisalat and Du provide comprehensive service packages tailored to meet the needs of diverse consumer segments. Their services encompass a wide range of options, including broadband, fibre optics and 5G networks, ensuring high-speed internet access.

For further information on service packages and options, visit Etisalat's official website at Etisalat and Du's website at Du.

Mobile phones in Abu Dhabi

Mobile phones are the most common method of communication in the UAE. As both Etisalat and Du offer similar services, the only comprehensive difference is in coverage by their respective networks. Expats are able to apply for mobile phone contracts, but pay-as-you-go services are most common.

Mobile phone coverage in the UAE is good, both nationally and internationally. Etisalat and Du both offer a variety of plans and services, including prepaid and postpaid options. These plans are designed to cater for different usage patterns, with various data allowances, call minutes and international roaming options. 

Special mobile packages are also available for tourists and short-term visitors, providing them with convenient access to mobile services during their stay. Additionally, both providers offer a range of smartphones and mobile devices, often bundled with service plans for added convenience.

Internet connectivity in Abu Dhabi

Internet connectivity in the UAE is widespread and reliable. Etisalat and Du offer a broad spectrum of internet options, with the UAE now having one of the highest rates of fibre-to-the-home connectivity in the world. Internet costs can be pricey, however.

In addition to standard broadband services, Etisalat and Du have been at the forefront of rolling out 5G technology in the UAE. This has led to even faster and more reliable internet services, particularly in urban areas like Abu Dhabi.

Social networking and censorship in Abu Dhabi

Censorship is still common in Abu Dhabi, with numerous websites blocked in the emirate. Any material deemed to be offensive or inconsistent with the religious, political or moral values of the UAE is blocked. 

Pornographic, gambling and dating sites are also blocked. Additionally, voice- and video-calling features in apps, such as WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger, are disabled. However, most of the main social networking sites, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, are accessible.

The UAE's approach to internet regulation and censorship is rooted in cultural, religious and political considerations. The government's stance on internet freedom balances between maintaining traditional values and adapting to the digital era.

For more information on internet regulations in the UAE, you can visit the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Postal and courier services in Abu Dhabi

Although traditional postal services are not very common nowadays, this service is very reliable in the UAE; postal services are used primarily for important documents sent by couriers. Couriers are usually on time, and the hassle is minimal.

Shipping packages or sending letters overseas is also easy. Mail can be sent to the home by arrangement, but most people receive mail either at their work address or via PO Box. 

Couriers are used for critical home deliveries, such as credit cards. There are a number of reliable courier services available in Abu Dhabi.

To learn more about postal and courier services, you can visit Emirates Post at Emirates Post and Aramex at Aramex.

English-language media in Abu Dhabi

English-language media is readily available in the UAE. The National and Gulf News are English-language dailies that also have active websites. A number of other English magazines and newspapers are also readily available, including Aquarius, Time Out Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi World. There are also English radio and television stations.

Access to English-language television channels is quite good, including the Dubai-based Dubai One, as well as BBC and Fox.

For more information on English-language media, you can visit The National and Gulf News.

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